King George VI – 1940 King’s Speech


Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 21 November 1940.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

My peoples and My Allies are united in their resolve to continue the fight against the aggressor nations until freedom is made secure. Then only can the nations, released from oppression and violence, again work together on a basis of ordered liberty and social justice.

I am confident that victory is assured, not only by the prowess of the Armed Forces of My Empire and of those of My Allies, but also by the devotion of the Civil Defence Forces and the tenacity and industry of My peoples. These are now enduring, where they live and labour, the perils as well as the hardships of war.

The staunchness of the men of the Merchant and Fishing Fleets has added lustre to the ancient traditions of the sea.

The resistance of My people has won the admiration of other friendly Powers. The relations of My Government with that of the United States of America could not be more cordial, and I learn, with the utmost satisfaction, of the ever-increasing volume of munitions of war which is arriving from that country. It is good to know in these fateful times how widely shared are the ideals of ordered freedom, of justice and security.

Members of the House of Commons,

You will be asked to make further financial provision for the conduct of the war.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

Measures will be submitted to you for compensating those whose home or business property has, at any time since the outbreak of hostilities, been destroyed or damaged by enemy attack, and for extending insurance against the risk of such damage to all forms of movable property which are not at present protected.

Further proposals for legislation will also be made to improve the conditions of those who may now or in the future require assistance from public funds.

Apart from these and such other measures as may be required for the effective prosecution of the war, My Government will take every possible step to sustain the health and well-being of My people in their ordeal.

I pray that the Almighty may give His blessing to your counsels.